Year In Review, Open

I don’t recall doing this in any previous year, but as I prepare to lighten the load on WordPress, I was looking back over 2015 on this blog. Just looking.

In January, this blog plodded along in documents, mainly the Directory on Public Piety and the Liturgy. My favorite post asked the question: What if Catholic bosses didn’t fire people for contrary opinions?

In February, we plodded along with an old document on bishop/women religious relations. That was about the time I was giving more serious consideration to shutting down. In comparison to a far more rewarding experience of ministry and real life, the internet stuff, especially the imprudent extremes, doesn’t seem so important.

Looking back on March, I was struck again by the thought that had never occurred to me: just perhaps, Christians might not mourn their dead.

April added posts on Pope Francis’ mercy document and Humanae Vitae. In the wider world, the LCWR/CDF feud came to a quiet end. Disappointment for the Catholic Right.

The month after, my discernment clicked into high gear. One staff colleague thought I was silly to declare my departure before I had a job lined up. But the pastor and I arranged a little Ignatian-style openness on the side. On the blog, we dug into JP2’s mercy doc from 1980.

In June, SCOTUS ruled on same-sex unions, and six months later, I’ve heard of nobody racing out of a heterosexual marriage to experiment elsewise based on a legal recognition for somebody else. I still haven’t detected a redirection of church resources to help people in sacramental marriages. Maybe it’s more fun to be against.

On June 25th I accepted a job offer, and five weeks later, my family and I had just slept in our new home for the first night. I had written a lot in May and June and most of those posts landed in a personal-best July of 149 posts.

By August, Laudato Si’ was in full daily posts, and a more popular discussion here looked at distinctions in Catholic music.

September found the pope in America, and a family conference in Philadelphia had nearly nothing on adoption. Plus, it was entertaining to see people parsing the Holy Father to a degree that would have given likewise failing grades to a recent predecessor or two.

This Fall has been more of a blur, as I look back. Getting more of my head, heart, and spirit into my new parish takes up a lot of energy. I don’t blog to give readers a rundown of parish goings-on. Never have, really.

As of tonight, there are 47 posts in the queue on Laudato Si’ ready to go one-a-day up to the first Sunday in Lent. I started writing up Psalm 139 for Reconciliation today. Another dozen Bible passages for Penance are still in varying stages of writing, not being written, or hoping somebody else will write them.

Leaving off 2015, the thread is now open. Max, you on the way?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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7 Responses to Year In Review, Open

  1. Atheist Max says:


    On Dec. 14, 2012 news emerged about children massacred in Newtown.
    I wept so uncontrollably I could not physically stand.

    I knelt on my living room rug and cried as if all these children had been my very own.
    A Catholic of 49 years, I had seen many evil things before but what happened next changed my life.

    I put my hands together to pray through sobs of distress:
    “Dear God help, please, please, please. Help them, help me understand”
    And in a flash I have never forgotten, I realized that if it were possible for God to intercede and help me it would be an immoral act on God’s part.
    I was only a person needing comfort – but God had already not interceded for those children. He had allowed each and every step of the killer, the bullets…right down to the parking space.

    In comparison to the needs of those children and their families, my desperation was but a trivial speck of dust. I was in no way worthy of any attention compared to those lost in that gunfire.

    It was like an alarm bell: God cannot morally INTERCEDE to help me
    as long as he had first refused to intercede at any step along the way for those children or their families.
    In fact, GOD MUST NOT – as a moral matter – come to my aid at all!

    I could no longer see how a God – even one presumably capable of infinite options – could exist under the circumstances. For even my prayer itself had been an unwittingly immoral, un-empathetic act!

    And God vanished.

  2. Atheist Max says:

    Yes. You have had an eventful year and you have shared your mission.
    This has been my mission:

    We Atheists are misunderstood. We are just as moral and as empathetic as we were when we were Christians.
    If God disappears, ‘scripture’ becomes immoral. Even Paul said so (1 Corinthians 15:13)
    And that is my personal struggle. How do we Atheists reach out to others who have been through this in a society which does not understand or trust us?

    I do not hate God. God simply vanished.
    I do not choose sin. God vanished.
    I do not reject God. He vanished.
    I did not lose faith in God. He just vanished.
    I am not bigoted against believers. But I need to communicate to help other Atheists – to help change how we are seen.

    We have to get past the point where the word ATHEIST is offensive.
    In my case, it is the most honest and moral position I have ever experienced.

  3. charlesincenca says:

    I’m confident that all who frequent here are in consensus that 15 was a year of incessant tumult and turbae, sturm und drang. For my part, Todd’s recollection of the music discussion was a needed reminder, tonic and remedy that music, gift of God, provides for the ills we cannot understand. I want to thank Todd, Liam, Max, Jen, Melody, Fr. Michael et alia for our little klatsch that isn’t another mere echo chamber. I implore your mercy friends to help me navigate my portion of our pilgrimage.
    Todd, I’ve been meaning to ask- in the weird little bio of Pope Michael, was that you in the corner of Iowa State that invited him to present?

      • charlesincenca says:

        Nevermind, there’s a brief scene in the biopic of “Pope Michael” where he’s addressing a Newman Club meeting in an Iowa university and I prolly hallucinated seeing you in the back corner smiling at the gentleman’s prognostications.

  4. Atheist Max says:

    I certainly believe in music.
    Happy New Year to all.

  5. Chris says:

    “I still haven’t detected a redirection of church resources to help people in sacramental marriages. Maybe it’s more fun to be against.”

    A very perceptive comment. There are MUCH greater dangers to marriage then allowing some more people to get legally married.


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